China’s tourism industry has shown greater resilience with more innovative products and business models amid the current situation of regular COVID-19 prevention and control.
During this year’s three-day Mid-Autumn Festival holiday from Sept. 19 to 21, China witnessed more than 88 million domestic trips. The figure climbed to 515 million during the seven-day National Day holiday, which ran from Oct. 1 to 7.
Since this year, short-distance trips, traveling light, and spending leisure time in hotels have become the most popular ways for people to spend their holidays.
“Short-distance trips enable tourists to travel deeper, while quality resort hotels, B&Bs, and cultural-themed tourist destinations, such as museums, intangible cultural heritage shows and folk-custom performances are in high demand,” said Zou Qingling, CEO of China’s online tour agency Lvmama.com.
The keyword search volume for “short-distance trips” have surged by over 258 percent year on year in 2021, said Feng Rao, director of the Chinese travel service platform Mafengwo’s tourism research center. Feng predicted that short-distance trips will remain an important part of China’s domestic tourism market for a long time in the future.
Furthermore, red tourism, which refers to visiting historical sites with revolutionary legacies, study tours, and parent-child trips have remained popular this year.
Data from TongCheng-eLong, an online travel service platform in China, showed that the number of tourists at red tourism scenic spots soared by 230 percent year-on-year during this year’s National Day holiday. The keyword search volume for “museum” on qunar.com, another online travel service provider, surged by 240 percent during the holiday compared with 2019.
Meanwhile, an increasing number of Chinese tourists have been drawn to domestic theme parks, including the Happy Valley theme park chain, due to their new tourism products.
For example, the number of domestic visitors received by Happy Valley Beijing and its tourism revenues during the National Day holiday exceeded those of the pre-epidemic level. In the first half of this year, the number of domestic visitors received by seven Happy Valley theme parks across China rose by 13 percent from the same period in 2019, with tourism revenues increasing by 27 percent year-on-year.
Happy Valley has always adapted to the market and sped up efforts to develop innovative tourism products, including launching traditional cultural activities and red tourism-themed performances, which are particularly popular among the younger generation, according to an executive of the theme park chain.